- Nasima Akter
Richa Ghosh Returns Home from WPL to Applause
It's not every day a sports star returns to their hometown to a hero's welcome. But that's exactly what happened to Richa Ghosh, a member of the Indian women's cricket squad when she arrived in Siliguri on Wednesday.
After playing in many international tournaments and the Women's Premier League (WPL), Richa arrived at Bagdogra Airport with a warm welcome from the Mayor of Siliguri, Gautam Deb.
The Mayor expressed his pride in Richa's achievements and wished her a bright future.
People Welcoming Richa Back
Her home in College Para was also filled with a festive mood as locals gathered to welcome her. Expressing her delight, Richa shared that she would be staying in Siliguri for a few days before starting her practice.
It was an emotional homecoming for the 19-year-old wicketkeeper-batter, who had been away from home for some time.
As she made her way through the city in an open-roof vehicle, accompanied by fans on cars and bikes, Richa was overwhelmed by the outpour of support.
And the feeling was mutual. She took the time to interact with budding cricketers at the Bagha Jatin Athletics Club, where she used to practice earlier and thanked them for their support.
Richa's Journey in the WPL
For Richa, the WPL was a crucial step in her cricketing career. The tournament, launched by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the first time this year, provided an opportunity for women cricketers to hone their skills by playing with their international counterparts.
Playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Richa was up against some of the best players in the world, including ace batter and skipper Smriti Mandhana, Australia's all-rounder Elyse Perry, Indian pacer Renuka Singh, and England's all-rounder Heather Knight.
Despite the tough competition, Richa and her team performed admirably, ending the tournament in the fourth spot among five teams.
Richa's Statement on her Time in the WPL
Speaking about her experiences playing in the WPL, Richa said, “The tournament provided an opportunity for women cricketers of the country to hone their skills by playing with their international counterparts. The presence of Virat Kohli (who plays for the same team in the IPL) and his inspirational talks helped us a lot. Yes, many domestic players participated in the tournament for the first time, which perhaps did not go well for the team. But hopefully, we will perform better next year.”
Returning to Siliguri after playing in two major cricket tournaments, the ICC women's world cup T20 in South Africa and the WPL, Richa is keenly aware of the lack of cricket infrastructure in her
hometown. She hopes that more facilities will be built to help budding cricketers excel and reach the next level of the sport.
But for Richa, hard work is equally important. And it's that grit and determination that has made her a prominent cricketer from Siliguri, following in the footsteps of Wriddhiman Saha. As she returns to the national squad, Richa can take pride in the fact that she has made her hometown proud.